Quinta do Cardo was a producer that was part of a larger cooperative, das Quintas. It has since ceased to be, so this wine, and the 2014 specifically, is all she wrote. The winery was located near Castelo Rodrigo with vines planted at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level, protected by the Marofa and Castelo Rodrigo mountains, and surrounded by the Douro, Côa, and Agueda rivers. All the farming was done organically.
This wine is a really great example of Touriga Nacional, and specifically one with nearly a decade of age on it. Touriga Nacional is the most well-known vine variety for Port (made in Douro) and also for dry, unfortified reds across Portugal, especially in Dao where it probably originated. In Portugal it’s often found in blends, and it’s now popping up in Oregon, California, Australia, and South Africa as winemakers experiment with different varieties.
After hand-harvesting, the grapes were fermented in stainless steel vats at 26°C/78.8°F. In the spring the wine was transferred to oak barrels (50% new) where it aged for 20 months. It’s wildly floral on the nose, with dried violets and lavender, which is where Touriga goes when given the time. The flowers are followed by mint, baking spices, blackberries, dried fruit, and a touch of smoke. Texturally the wine is rich but with well-defined acidity and tannins. It’s only in the past few years that this red was even ready to drink, and it still has years to go.
Beautifully aged Touriga Nacional. Organic. See note below.
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